Argentina and Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo was a very unlikely hero yesterday as he helped his side complete a very unlikely group stage comeback. "France is a very good team with skilled individual players".
"We have to trust in our quality, we respect all our opponents, but we don't concede that anyone is better than us", coach Zlatko Dalic said after Tuesday's win.
With the score at 1-1, Nigeria thought they should have had a second penalty when Rojo headed the ball onto his arm inside the area. "We make important decisions in games and I was simply explaining it, that we would use a strategy we had; using more attacking players".
One day before a match that could decide so many things - perhaps even Lionel Messi's worldwide future - Argentina's manager was on the defensive.
Lionel Messi, who had scored a brilliant opener, jumped on Rojo's back as he sprinted away in delirious celebration, joined by the entire Argentina bench in the corner.
"But we all know they have a player who is capable of everything.More news: Oil markets go tense on Libyan concerns, WTI still under $68
Otherwise we suffer", the manager said.
Didier Deschamps' side enjoyed a much more comfortable passage to the knockout stage compared to their rivals, finishing top of Group C on the strength of two victories: 2-1 over Australia and 1-0 against Peru.
Umtiti, who is expected to start dicey encounter after missing out of Les Bleus last group fixture against Denmark, revealed that stopping the Argentina's star is no easy task.
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But, speaking on the eve of that second-round clash with France, Sampaoli said: "I remember that point in time but everything I say to my players is personal and I will not divulge what was said".
"Africa is going to be successful one day but we need to think again how we approach these big competitions", he told the BBC in his role as a TV pundit.